Santos has  acknowledged that he made false statements


George Santos, a Republican from New York, was isolated during the first week of a gridlocked new Congress because of lies about his life story and an ongoing federal investigation

n into his finances.

Santos, 34, ran for office in the formerly left-leaning third district, which encompasses Queens and Long Island, on a platform to preserve the “American dream” that his parents, who were immigrants from Brazil, first generation, had attained. According to a New York Times investigation published last month, Santos’ biography is largely false, including the claims he made about his illustrious education, extensive Wall Street career, and substantial real estate holdings.

Although senior House Republicans have largely remained silent, Santos has since acknowledged that he made false statements about much of his personal history and professional background. Once the House chooses a Speaker, it is likely that Santos will be sworn into office alongside the other freshmen representatives.

According to Santos, he intends to finish his congressional term. “I have a story to tell the people of #NY03, and I’ll tell it next week. He tweeted in December, “I want to reassure everyone that I will respond to their inquiries and that I am still committed to achieving the goals I set during my campaign, including public safety, inflation, education, and more.

Santos’ false narrative

Santos boasted about his successful career during his campaign, saying it all started when he graduated from Baruch College and also attended New York University. Santos claimed to have worked at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs after graduating from college. Santos quickly admitted that he had lied on his resume, that he had never graduated from any college, and that he hadn’t worked directly for either company. The Times had first reported in December that none of these institutions had records of Santos’ enrollment or employment.

In addition, according to Santos, he established Friends of Pets United, a group that saved thousands of cats and dogs, and he owned 13 rental homes that his family ran as landlords. He had criticized the eviction moratorium, saying it appeared to be “punishing” landlords.

His nonprofit was not discovered to be a legally recognized tax-exempt organization by The Times investigation. The rescue organization reportedly held at least one fundraiser in 2017, but the beneficiary of the occasion claimed they never received any of the money, according to the newspaper. The Times also couldn’t find any records of Santos owning any property.

He admitted to embellishing his resume and apologized for it to the New York Post. The Times’ review of court records revealed that Santos received eviction notices for himself at two Queens rental properties in 2015 and 2017 for a combined total of more than $12,000 in unpaid rent.

On a personal level, Santos talked extensively about his upbringing throughout his campaign, highlighting the fact that his mother was Jewish, his maternal grandmother had fled to Brazil from Ukraine during World War II, and he was a non-observant Jew who practiced Catholicism—a claim that the Forward claims may not be true.

Santos clarified that he had heard tales about his grandmother being Jewish before converting to Catholicism when that was questioned. I said I was “Jew-ish” after discovering my maternal family had a Jewish heritage, Santos told the Post. Santos also mentioned that although his mother passed away from cancer a few years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, she survived them. According to a public obituary, she passed away in 2016.

Santos supports LGBTQ rights and was the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to Congress. According to a report published by The Daily Beast last month, Santos went five years without disclosing his previous marriage to a woman. Santos told the Post that although he has dated women in the past, he is now at ease with his sexuality. In September 2019, a few weeks before he announced his bid for Congress, his divorce was finalized.

Santos is being looked into

Santos’ finances are being looked into by local and federal prosecutors, who are looking for inconsistencies in his financial disclosures. Santos lent his campaign more than $700,000, which he claimed came from the Devolder Organization, a company owned by his family. The Times claims that he gave thousands of dollars to other campaigns over the past two years and disclosed a salary of $750,000 as well as more than $1 million in dividends from the business. There is not much information available to the public about either investigation.

Authorities in Brazil are also looking into a case involving Santos from 2008 when he was 19 years old. While his mother was a nurse in Brazil, Santos reportedly spent some time there. He was charged with fraud after taking a checkbook from a person his mother looked after and using it to make almost $700 in clothing store purchases. According to the Times, Santos and his mother admitted to the fraud in 2010, but by the time a judge called him in, Santos had left Brazil and Brazilian authorities had not been able to find him since. The Times was informed by Brazilian law enforcement that they planned to reopen the fraud allegations.

 The reply from the GOP

Even though Santos could be expelled for his actions with a two-thirds majority in the House, this outcome seems unlikely given the slim Republican majority and the rarity of expulsions. A special election would be held in a swing state where President Joe Biden won in 2020 if Santos were to be ousted by his conference. According to political experts, the political risk may be greater than what some Republicans are willing to accept.

Experts also ponder the potential harm that keeping Santos in office might do to the GOP’s standing. The House Ethics Committee might look into him, but normally those inquiries are reserved for misconduct that occurred while the person was in office, not before. The House Speaker would read Santos’ misconduct on the House floor as part of the censure process, which is another option.

What should happen to George Santos?

Even though it was discovered that Rep. George Santos (R-NY) made up some of the employment histories on his resume and allegedly fabricated campaign finance forms, he joined other recently elected lawmakers in taking his seat in the new Congress this week. Additionally, this week, authorities in Santos’ home country of Brazil announced that they were reopening a 14-year-old case of check fraud against Santos because they now know where he is. Even worse, he made another error this week when he declared that he had already been sworn in as a member of Congress, despite the fact that this had not yet occurred due to the GOP impasse over Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become speaker.

Santos has stated unequivocally that he wants to keep his position. With fewer allies and less power to influence policy, that decision might result in more lonesome days in Congress.

Santos jumped on the bandwagon of then-outgoing President Donald Trump and claimed that Democrats stole his congressional election in 2020 after losing to incumbent Democrat Tom Suozzi by a margin of 12.4 percentage points. He “recalibrated his far-right pitch, weaving themes into his campaign biography that might make him more acceptable to swing voters,” according to Charles Lane in The Washington Post, running again in a friendlier, redrew the district in 2022. Santos claimed to be the son of 9/11 victims and the grandson of Ukrainian Jewish Holocaust survivors while acting “against type as a gay Republican”; both claims were false. What penalties should Santos suffer for his lies now that he has arrived in Washington?

Santos should resign, but won’t.

 according to an editorial in the Schenectady, New York, Daily Gazette. “There’s almost no chance” Santos will leave voluntarily and simply resign, the paper writes. He’s not going to suddenly change his mind and resign from his lucrative and influential new position despite his obvious fabrications about his previous employment, “education, and Jewish heritage; despite doubts about the source of his wealth, his campaign finances, his former marriage, and some strange issue with Brazil.”

Republican House leaders would be wise to assume control. They might “pressurize him to resign, bring up ethics charges, threaten not to put him on committees, or sanction him in any other way.” House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is “staying out of it” for the time being, though, as he needs all the help he can get to win and keep the speakership. Republicans should oust him from their conference as a bare minimum measure.

According to Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal, it is safe to assume that Santos won’t come to his senses and resign, cooperate with investigators, and “come clean about his past.” The local party should then “disavow him and call for a special election.” Republicans in the House should also break their silence, formally object to his entry, and end their conference in his favor.

Republicans “believe they can’t afford to lose even one” vote because they have a slim 222-212 advantage over Democrats (and one Virginia seat is up for special election). Santos’ seat, however, is not worth clinging to. He “will be the subject of inquiries from the start and used to slam the GOP every day for ignoring his fraud. They are unable to maintain him. He is too far to cross. He makes me ashamed.

There are other liars in Washington than Santos.

If we had an honest president, Republicans might be reacting to Santos differently, claims Jim Geraghty of the National Review. When it comes to politicians who lie, “it has become de rigueur among conservatives to point out that the Democrats are gargantuan hypocrites,” and this time is no exception. Reminders about Biden’s “sketchy claims” include that he was arrested during a civil rights march and that he graduated at the top of his college class (when in reality he graduated “near the bottom”)

Liberals are having a difficult time explaining why Santos’ lies call for immediate expulsion from Congress while Biden’s lies are just exaggerations or examples of Grandpa getting confused.

Who knows whether Republicans would want Santos to replace Biden in Congress if Biden had a stellar reputation for being truthful, or “would they tell the voters of New York’s third congressional district, “Nope, this guy is no good, go find somebody else”?”

Santos will be deposed by the prosecution

Eleanor Clift and Douglas Cohn, commentators for U.S. News Syndication, assert that not all lies are the same. The “tall tales” Santos has concocted “that have garnered the most attention, like his false claim that he is descended from Holocaust survivors, worked at high levels in investment firms, and graduated from elite colleges, are irrelevant in the eyes of the law,” according to the New York Times.

Santos, however, is not being looked into by federal agents despite his false claims that he attended college and worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. “They want to know where he got the $700,000 loan he gave his campaign after compiling a shaky work history and vacillating between cheap rentals,” said one source. No one cares about Santos’ employment history, religious affiliation, or college location. “No matter which college he attended—or whether he attended any college at all—lying on financial forms related to his time in Congress is the same as lying to the FBI. It is a crime.”

Santos represents the times.

According to Molly Roberts in The Washington Post, it is “shocking but not surprising” to see a fabulist running for office. After all, when Elizabeth Holmes promised that Theranos would revolutionize blood testing, Americans actually believed her. We put our faith in Sam Bankman-Fried and his bitcoin exchange FTX, failing to realize “that you can’t create money out of nothing more than hype.” “We live in the age of the scam,” is the explanation.

Santos adopted Trump’s game plan. In order to appear richer to the public and poorer to the IRS, the former president “too got elected by lying — conjuring up facts and figures.” We are aware that everyone slightly embellishes their story, but “A part of us wants to believe that some seemingly impossible things are in fact real, such as the existence of gay Republican donors with deep pockets who are biracial grandsons of Holocaust survivors. In interviews given during his campaign, Santos referred to himself as “the American Dream.” Perhaps he’s correct.”